Notice to exporters 2020/11: progressing licence applications for military exports to Saudi Arabia
Published 7 July 2020
On 7 July 2020 the Secretary of State for International Trade informed Parliament in awritten statementthat she has retaken her decisions regarding licences for military exports to Saudi Arabia for possible use in the conflict in Yemen, in accordance with the Judgment of the Court of Appeal of 20 June 2019.
Consequently, the undertaking given to the Court – that we would not grant any new licences for the export of arms or military equipment to Saudi Arabia for possible use in Yemen – falls away. The broader commitment that was given to Parliament, relating to licences for Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners, also no longer applies.
The government will now begin the process of clearing the backlog of licence applications for Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners that has built up since 20 June last year. Each application will be carefully assessed against theConsolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteriaand a licence would not be granted if to do so would be a breach of the criteria.
Exporters should be aware that it may take some months to clear this backlog. There may also continue to be delays in processing new applications until the backlog has been cleared.